Syria urges elimination of chemical weapons, other WMDs as threat to regional, global security
Syria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Bassam Sabbagh says all weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), including chemical arms, must be eliminated from West Asia as they pose a threat to regional and international security.
Addressing a Wednesday session of the United Nations Security Council focusing on Syria, Sabbagh said his country condemned the use of chemical weapons by anyone, anywhere and under any circumstance.
He said a Syrian delegation took part “effectively” in a conference last week to negotiate a treaty for a West Asia zone free of nuclear weapons and other WMDs “based on its deep belief in the importance of eliminating mass destruction weapons that pose threat to the international and regional peace and security.”
The Syrian delegation “stressed the importance of the participation of the five nuclear-weapon states (NWS) in this conference as observers due to their essential role in the consultations that aim at establishing this zone,” Sabbagh said.
Israel is believed to be the only possessor of nukes in West Asia, storing between 200 to 400 nuclear warheads in its arsenal.
The Israeli regime has refused to allow inspections of its nuclear facilities or sign the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and pursues a policy of deliberate ambiguity about its secretive nuclear arsenal.
Elsewhere in his speech, the Syrian diplomat responded to the statements made by the United Nations Disarmament Chief, Izumi Nakamitsu, at the UNSC session, during which she tried to question Syria’s cooperation with UN chemical weapons investigations and claimed Syria’s declaration of its chemical weapons program could not be considered accurate and complete due to the identified gaps, inconsistencies and discrepancies.
She also urged Damascus to have “thorough cooperation” with the Technical Secretariat of the OPCW.
Nakamitsu said Syria had submitted 17 amendments and several supplements to its initial declaration, with 20 of the 24 outstanding issues remaining unresolved. The Technical Secretariat’s role is to assess whether explanations provided by Syrian experts were scientifically plausible, adding that once these assessments are conducted, that OPCW body assists Damascus in amending its initial declaration as required.
In response, Sabbagh defended his country’s faithful cooperation with the OPCW since joining the Chemical Weapons Convention and regretted attempts by some parties to distort the image of such cooperation.
He added that Damascus was continuing consultations to prepare for a meeting between the Syrian foreign minister and the OPCW director-general.